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Tilting at Windmills

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November 7, 2007
By: Kevin Drum

RUDY AND THE EVANGELICALS....Rich Lowry on Pat Robertson's endorsement of Rudy Giuliani:

Just talked to a top social conservative. He says, hinting that more prominent social cons will end up going with Rudy, "There's plenty more where this comes from." On the impact of the Robertson endorsement on the race: "What it does for Rudy is it says, 'It's OK to vote for Rudy.' I think there will be more of that, pre-nomination and post-nomination." On conservative evangelical voters and Giuliani: "If Rudy is the nominee, they're going to vote for him — period."

This strikes me as right. The real core issue of the Christian right has always been "moral decay." Increased acceptance of abortion and gay rights are symptoms of this, and they get most of the attention, but moral decay itself has always been the bedrock fear that drives everything else.

And of all the GOP candidates on offer today, which one is most obviously prepared to kick moral decay's ass? I don't even have to say it, do I?

Of course, that still leaves open the question of whether Rudy can inspire Christian conservatives. It's one thing to be "OK" to vote for Rudy, but it's quite another to actually vote for Rudy — especially if many of the movement's most influential leaders actively oppose him. After all, Karl Rove famously believed that four million evangelicals didn't bother voting in 2000, and that was for a candidate who was far more than just OK. If four million evangelicals couldn't be bothered to vote for George Bush in 2000, even though he was more plainly one of them than any candidate in recent history, what will they do if Rudy is on the ballot?

POSTSCRIPT: Another interesting question: what about the moderate evangelicals? If David Kirkpatrick is right, a lot of them are less focused on abortion and gay marriage than their elders, and therefore might be more open to a social moderate like Rudy. On the other hand, he also says that a lot of them are turned off by the war, and Rudy is certainly the most aggressively pro-war candidate out there. So what will they do?

Kevin Drum 3:07 PM Permalink | Trackbacks | Comments (82)

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What will they do?

Vote for Ron Paul.

Posted by: Alex on November 7, 2007 at 3:09 PM | PERMALINK

They will vote for whichever republican gets nominated.

Period.

Posted by: Jeff on November 7, 2007 at 3:16 PM | PERMALINK

Basically Pat doesn't want to back a losing horse.

Posted by: Cassidy on November 7, 2007 at 3:20 PM | PERMALINK

Who is more shameless? The preacher who endorses a serial adulterer who is pro-gay rights and willing to keep abortion legal, or the New York City politician who accepts the endorsement of someone who says the city deserved the terrorist attack of 9/11/01?

Posted by: DJ on November 7, 2007 at 3:23 PM | PERMALINK

"And of all the GOP candidates on offer today, which one is most obviously prepared to kick moral decay's ass? I don't even have to say it, do I?"

Yeah, but of all the GOP candidates on offer today, which one has in the past, and is most likely to in the future, participated in and contributed to that moral decay? That also would be Rudy.

Posted by: bubba on November 7, 2007 at 3:23 PM | PERMALINK

what will they do if Rudy is on the ballot?

Depends on who his opponent is. If its Hillary, they will turn out for Guiliani. If it is Obama, not so much.

Posted by: goethean on November 7, 2007 at 3:26 PM | PERMALINK

Jeff, in the second comment, got it right.

I don't know if Giuliani will get the nomination over Romney (this is the big decision for evangelicals), but if he does, evangelicals will vote for him without much question in the general election.

Posted by: Yancey Ward on November 7, 2007 at 3:28 PM | PERMALINK

Rudy may be the bottom abortion man, but he is perceived as the top Israel man on getting tough with Arabs and Iranians, and many Evangelicals feel Israel has a covenant with God.

http://www.amconmag.com/2007/2007_08_27/article1.html

Posted by: Luther on November 7, 2007 at 3:28 PM | PERMALINK

It's less to do with "moral decay" and more to do with fear. The fundies will vote for anyone who promises to kick Muslim ass - including Benito Guiliani - no matter what his personal life is like (and Guiliani's stinks).

Posted by: Susan on November 7, 2007 at 3:30 PM | PERMALINK

...and someday I too will learn to spell "Giuliani."

Posted by: Susan on November 7, 2007 at 3:31 PM | PERMALINK

I was listening to Laura Ingraham this morning - she had a poll up for her listeners, basically asking - should conservatives line up behind a candidate now?... or.. is it too early.

she was surprised that the majority said it was too early... and I was like

cmon Laura... your listeners dont know what to do because you havent told them what to do!!... duhhhhhhh

Posted by: christAlmighty on November 7, 2007 at 3:34 PM | PERMALINK

Without a real prophet/demon to identify with, evangelicals will most likely revert back to their historical voting patterns, voting Republican but with a smaller turnout.

Posted by: Brojo on November 7, 2007 at 3:40 PM | PERMALINK

It's too bad it was Jerry Falwell's nephew who was the gay porn star. I can't remember his nom de porn, and you're a better man than I am if you can find traces of this story that remain on the Web, but the nephew had blond hair and a very large birthmark like a brown smear on his left rib cage.

I saw Falwell on either CNN or MSNBC and the interviewer had the guts to actually ask about this, albeit in a cloaked fashion. I think the interviewer was actually Anderson Cooper, natch. Anyway, the issue was something to do with gays or pornography and Cooper or whomever asked some very opaque question like, "Don't you have a relative who would have some perspective on this issue?" Whatever the question was, it didn't even make sense unless you knew the story behind it. Falwell got the message loud and clear and he didn't turn a hair, but replied something like this: "The person to whom you refer is a very confused young man and his mother and I are praying for him."

Posted by: Anon on November 7, 2007 at 3:43 PM | PERMALINK

http://www.cnn.com/2007/POLITICS/11/07/conservatives.endorsements/?iref=mpstoryview

Robertson has repeatedly praised Giuliani despite their major differences on social policy. Both men say a friendship developed after a long conversation on a plane during a trip to Israel several years ago. Another thing both men have in common is that they are prostate cancer survivors.

On that plane trip Giuliani assured Robertson in private of *whatever Robertson wanted to hear*

Then they swapped prostate cancer survivor stories.

Then each told the other something about himself that he had never told anyone else.

Then they eyeballed each other's souls as exhibited through their eyeballs.

{{{{{BONDING}}}}} occurred.

{{{{{BFFs}}}}}

Robertson's followers don't need to know about no stinkin' policies.

Posted by: cowalker on November 7, 2007 at 3:46 PM | PERMALINK

A little fair play in "candidate trolling":

Hillary and the Rat
by Joyce Marcel

... These are the times that try women's souls. Those of us who were lucky enough to experience the heady days of Seventies feminism are torn between our desire to see a woman lead the country and our utter despair that that woman might be Hillary Clinton.

Back in the day, women were credited with having "nurturing souls" which would make them better leaders. They wouldn't posture over whose weapons were bigger than whose; they wouldn't start wars. Instead, they would fight for social justice. They would reach out a hand to the poor and needy, help educate children to the highest standards, and work to insure that everyone has the medical care they need. In other words, they would act like Democrats.

Now we have a candidate who is a Democrat, and she's acting like the worst Republican on the block. ...
__________

And, "speak of the devil", what's this? No "Rudy is a Fruitcake" subtext?? (I suppose he's actually a "legitimate" contender, according to Kevin's "crystal ball".)
.

Posted by: Poilu on November 7, 2007 at 3:48 PM | PERMALINK

I'm afraid I'm not getting this. What is "moral decay" if not abortion and homosexuality? You didn't really explain yourself.

Posted by: cervantes on November 7, 2007 at 3:51 PM | PERMALINK

This makes me laugh so hard.

It shows the true colors of the "power" social conservatives.

They could care less about the moral values Giuliani represents. What they care about is Giuliani's power to preserve their moral megaphone and their class level.

The know they can preserve their power via Giuliani's ego.

The power of the faux church is under threat from anyone else.

Posted by: Simp on November 7, 2007 at 3:58 PM | PERMALINK

Surely moderatee evangelicals are like most other voters (or at least most other white Christian voters): if the war in Iraq is going badly and is front and center in the news, they aren't going to vote Republican. If, as seems possible, the news from Iraq isn't that bad, they probably will vote mostly Republican.

When I say "Christian" up above, I just mean not Jewish, not militantly atheist, etc. I don't necessarily someone who is born again or highly religious.

Posted by: y81 on November 7, 2007 at 4:03 PM | PERMALINK

amazing how flexible the christian definition of 'moral decay' is. so, the xtians have no issue with a married man fucking one of his girlfriends on father's day in his mayoral office -- and caught inflagrante by the former mrs.

and not only have they 180'd their moral compass on adultery. to get that jesus-loving christian vote, you must enthusiastically endorse torture and promise lots and lots of it in the future.

yay! is this an awesome country or what.

Posted by: linda on November 7, 2007 at 4:07 PM | PERMALINK

y81: Boy are you ever wrong.

Posted by: optical weenie on November 7, 2007 at 4:08 PM | PERMALINK

Right wing evangelical leaders have never been particularly serious about making abortion illegal, so they can easily let Rudy pass on that issue.

If the right makes abortion illegal, they'll have to start sending women, doctors, nurses, etc. to jail, and that's not really a vote-getter outside the most yokelized parts of the South.

But endlessly jawing about the "sanctity of life" without taking any real steps toward criminalizing abortion keeps their credulous constituency happy. Actually overturning Roe v. Wade and criminalizing abortion would be counterproductive for the religious right.

The right-wing credo is money and power first, morals second (if at all). The morality talk is just a means to get to the money and power.

Posted by: fidelio on November 7, 2007 at 4:13 PM | PERMALINK

Kevin misunderstands what motivates conservative evangelicals to vote the way they do, and what is the strongest reason they might support someone like Giuliani.

Fundamentally -- if I may use that word -- what motivates conservative evangelicals is hostility to liberals (and to the media, which in the evangelical community is assumed to be pretty much the same thing). That hostility is a less powerful driver than it was a few years ago, largely because President Bush has become less popular even among the people most enthusiastic about him from the start. But it is still potent, and Giuliani expresses hostility much better and with more conviction than any candidate in the GOP field.

Obviously this is a generalization. Many conservative evangelicals do truly care most about abortion, or would prefer to see one of their own -- a sincere believer -- in the White House. These voters have their candidate, and he is Gov. Huckabee. But they are outnumbered by evangelicals who might prefer someone with more conventional personal morality than Giuliani, and fervent pro-life views, but are attracted to a candidate who dislikes liberals and the media as much as they do.

Now, I doubt Giuliani's appeal to the Republican electorate as a whole is durable. I suspect that a lot evangelical conservatives are aware of Giuliani's personal life and views on social issues but simply haven't heard the former examined in detail or heard the latter attacked by someone they trust more. Robertson's endorsement would be a huge plus for Giuliani if he could prevent either of these things from happening; since he can't, the endorsement is a short-term gain, and nothing more than that.

There is one subtext to be aware of, and that is what the endorsement means for Robertson. People motivated by hostility to liberals are likely donors to Robertson's television ministry and related enterprises -- and they can give only so much to a Presidential candidate. Robertson has a long record of making public statements with his fundraising base in mind (the infamous post-9/11 interview with Falwell included), and his endorsement of the one GOP candidate most likely to be seen as charging into battle against liberals is consistent with that record.

Posted by: Zathras on November 7, 2007 at 4:13 PM | PERMALINK

What is "moral decay"

Ask priest Ted Haggard, FL Rep. Foley and ID Sen. Craig: it is being honest about one's sexuality.

Posted by: Brojo on November 7, 2007 at 4:15 PM | PERMALINK

Who gives a rat's ass about Pat Robertson? Robertson is no Christian, but rather a racist and homophobic demagogue who holds his so-called "religion" as a political Sword of Damocles over his followers and public officials alike. How else to explain his endorsement of Rudy Giuliani -- a self-absorbed bully and buffoon who in 2000 publicly ran out on his family in 2000, simply to take up with his then-mistress and now third wife, Judy Nathan.

Well, Rudy will never get the endorsement of one courageous Roman Catholic clergyman and writer, Father Andrew Greeley, who tells it like it is and walks the walk.

From today's Chicago Sun-Times:

"Hate mail is fun. Rarely do the writers respond to what you have written. Rather, they pour forth their own personal venom -- usually scatological or obscene -- because they lack the maturity and the vocabulary to form a rational comment. A single word such as aliens or dictator sends them into paroxysms of filth."

* * * *

"If the ethic of achievement exists among any group of Americans, it is among Mexican immigrants. "Illegal" is an ink blot into which sick nativists can project their emotional troubles. The country needs them to do the work that has to be done. Then we pass a law that punishes them for daring to accept our de facto invitation to come work in our secondary labor market. Then we treat them like cattle."

* * * *

"The so-called strict constructionists such as the ineffable Nino Scalia and the sleazy Rudy Giuliani know this. They know that the whole theory about residual wartime powers of the president is mythology, not to say malarkey. Yet the current president has succeeded -- brilliantly, one might say -- in isolating all power in his own person on the basis of that mythology. He has filled the executive with his own incompetent creatures, he has neutered Congress by veto and filibuster and has the Supreme Court in his pocket since it stole the election from Al Gore and gave it to him. He dismisses the polls, which reflect the will of the people, and prepares for war with Iran on the advice and consent of only the vice president (68 percent of the people reject the madness of such a project). Only the military leaders can prevent such a war, but they are a pretty thin basis for hope."

Posted by: Donald from Hawaii on November 7, 2007 at 4:16 PM | PERMALINK

Sorry, it won't wash.

The GOP has been inflaming evangelicals with the spectre of the "gay agenda" for years. How do you think those people are going to react when the picutres of Rudy in drag turn up everywhere?

Posted by: Quaker in a Basement on November 7, 2007 at 4:17 PM | PERMALINK

Kevin, what do you mean "kick moral decay's ass?" From the view point of any Christian conservative Rudy is moral decay personified. Let us review, he has openly committed serial adultery at least twice, he favors abortion rights, he favors gay rights, he has been photographed dressed as a woman, he is a non-practicing Catholic and worst of all he is from New York City.

This endorsement says more about the decline of Pat Robertson than it does about the rise of Rudy Giuliani.

Posted by: corpus juris on November 7, 2007 at 4:20 PM | PERMALINK

Most social conservatives have looked past the sins of THEIR sinners. They will absolutely vote for a thrice-divorced, womanizing, pro-choice New Yawker who wants to bomb Iran back to the stone age before they will vote for an intelligent, family-faithful, churchgoing Democrat who condemns torture and unilateral invasions of countries that pose little direct threat to our country.

Robertson simply epitomizes this dynamic.

Cognitive dissonance is extremely difficult to fight, and cognitive dissonance is a key factor in our elections.

Here's another Cog Dis / Reptile Brain example. A gay friend of mine who LOATHES the Christian right voted for Bush in 2004 because even though he agreed with Kerry on practically every issue, and acknowledged Bush was a disaster, he said he didn't trust Kerry to "keep us safe."

Posted by: Mike H on November 7, 2007 at 4:21 PM | PERMALINK

"The real core issue of the Christian right has always been "moral decay."

Kevin is on the right track but doesn't quite get to the 'core'.

Among the right-wing "Christians" I know, "moral decay" is simply a code word for the race issue. "Moral decay" began with Brown v. the Board of Education. Every other issue is secondary to the need to return to the 'good old days' of Jim Crow.

Unless white men once again have the power to use lynching to defend the virtue of white women, the country is doomed. That is what "moral decay" really means.

Posted by: arkie on November 7, 2007 at 4:35 PM | PERMALINK

Given the flaws (as defined by the fundamentalists) of the top three Republican candidates (Romney, Rudy and McCain) I would expect lowered turnout to be the biggest effect. Which is fine by me.

Posted by: Col Bat Guano on November 7, 2007 at 4:35 PM | PERMALINK

Mike H: "A gay friend of mine who LOATHES the Christian right voted for Bush in 2004 because even though he agreed with Kerry on practically every issue, and acknowledged Bush was a disaster, he ..."

... also admitted that he had very serious and unresolved "daddy" issues, which thrice-weekly psychothrapy sessions couldn't even begin to penetrate, let alone treat.

Sorry. It was dangling over home plate like a slow-pitch softball, so I couldn't resist.

But you are precisely right about the GOP manipulation of one's cognitive dissonance.

Posted by: Donald from Hawaii on November 7, 2007 at 4:36 PM | PERMALINK

Yes, but....

As a religious leader, how can you possibly stand in front of your flock and sermonize about people hell-bound for choosing lifestyles outside biblical parameters, when you have voted for and advocated voting for Rudy Guiliani?

All that would be missing from such a sermon would be the laugh track.

Conservatives seem convinced that a person who does not hold up a bible as their moral compass has to be unethical and immoral in their personal and professional conduct. And likewise as convinced that anyone holding up a bible could not have less than superior ethical or moral standards.

The bible has become symbolic sainthood for far too many conservatives. These people make no effort at all to look the character of their political choices in the eye and see them for what they really are.

We are not even finished with Bush the Bible Holder and the bitter lessons he should have taught conservatives about looking truth in the face.

I believe the conservatives have a death fear of reciprocal accountability. If so, that is enough to make one discount the ethics of the whole party from the moral leadership down.

This endorcement certainly does.

Posted by: Zit on November 7, 2007 at 4:42 PM | PERMALINK

Movement conservatism at this point is a spent force. It's pretty much running on pure bile.

Who bids fair to piss off liberals the most?
Who's the best hater?

Giuliani. So he gets the nomination.

Posted by: Davis X. Machina on November 7, 2007 at 4:51 PM | PERMALINK

Oh, oh. Blood in the water already.

Top Conservative Group Wants To Know: Does Rudy Agree With Robertson On 9/11?
By Greg Sargent - November 7, 2007, 3:26PM

Rudy's willingness to accept Pat Robertson's endorsement -- despite his agreement that America "deserved" to be attacked on 9/11 -- is discomfiting at least one major social conservative group that disagreed with Robertson over his interpretation of the disaster.

In an interview with Election Central, a top official at the Family Research Council, one of the most prominent religious-conservative groups in the country, suggested that Rudy's acceptance of Robertson's endorsement should make one wonder whether Rudy agrees with Robertson's interpretation of the event that killed nearly 3,000 of Rudy's constitutents and now forms the basis of his campaign.

Posted by: JeffII on November 7, 2007 at 4:53 PM | PERMALINK

I thought Hillary! had the conservative Christian vote sewed up....

Posted by: nikkolai on November 7, 2007 at 5:07 PM | PERMALINK

Without a real prophet/demon to identify with, evangelicals will most likely revert back to their historical voting patterns, voting Republican but with a smaller turnout.
Posted by: Brojo on November 7, 2007 at 3:40 PM
^^^^^^

Generally, I agree with that, but I think the Dems will pick up some votes from them anyway. The NYT article Kevin linked to below was really interesting. I predict a resurgence in left-wing "Jesus Freaks" like we had back in the 60s and 70s. The whole country is moving to the left (and has been since 2005) and so will White Evangelicals. The fundie leaders realize that the heavy involvement in right-wing politics is starting to turn off some of the flock and it is probably starting to hurt the church's coffers as well. The screechy, uptight, right-wing will shrink greatly in number and stay home on election day. The less screechy ones will either vote Dem or be avowedly apolitical.

Posted by: Doc at the Radar Station on November 7, 2007 at 5:14 PM | PERMALINK

Rich Lowry is a pantywaist. And frequently wrong.

Posted by: ed on November 7, 2007 at 5:23 PM | PERMALINK

And one more thing...

We're winning!

Posted by: ed on November 7, 2007 at 5:25 PM | PERMALINK

I have said this before and I will say it again. Follow the money.

The fundamentalist candidates have been struggling to raise enough money to get out of the second tier. Mike Huckabee should be surging in the national polls. After all he is a fundamentalist Baptist preacher. He is mired at 9% because he doesn't have any money. None of the Republicans are raising much money, but the fundamentalists are doing worse than the others. Unless something dramatic happens that spells poor turnout next year.

Not even Hillary hatred is going to bring the fundamentalists out to vote in giant numbers. Given that Hillary is the odds on favorite right now, if Hillary hatred was much of a force we would be seeing much higher contribution numbers. We aren't. The Republicans are toast and they know it.

Posted by: corpus juris on November 7, 2007 at 5:34 PM | PERMALINK

Everybody here and Kevin and Lowry are overestimating Robertson's stature and influence. This is a good endo for Rudy, but not that big when it comes to the grassroots.

Posted by: Frank C on November 7, 2007 at 5:48 PM | PERMALINK

Corpus Juris has a point about the money. They may vote for Rudy, but will they open their wallets for him? Moreover, will they actively work for him? Bush had a lot of the evangs on the phone banks, at the rallies, and going door-to-door. Will they even stick a sign in their lawns for Rudy?

Posted by: OriGuy on November 7, 2007 at 6:11 PM | PERMALINK

Does this mean moral decay will be arrested for turnstile jumping under Das Grosser Reich von Rudy(tm)?

Posted by: trollhattan on November 7, 2007 at 6:22 PM | PERMALINK

Ron Paul is the only candidate, that can do the job. The other candidates will sell us down.. Kevin Drum Wake up...

Posted by: William Drabkowski on November 7, 2007 at 6:36 PM | PERMALINK

Zathras at 4:13 is exactly right.

Much like servicemen and -women, evangelicals generally claim that their support of conservative candidates is due to the support those candidates offer for their particular agendas (support for issues championed by the religious right or by the military). Yet, when faced with a choice between a center/left candidate who would seem to support their agenda and who actually has ties to them, and a center-right candated who may or may not support their agenda and has no ties to them, they will still support the center/right candidate*.

Why? Because most of these voters are actually more strongly identified with conservatism than with their stated identity (evangelical, military), and therefore voting against a liberal candidate is more important than voting for a fellow evangelical/veteran. The number who choose to vote may decline, but very few of them will choose to vote and then vote for the democratic candidate.

*e.g. evangelical Jimmy Carter vs divorced Ronald Reagan, WW II veteran George McGovern vs Richard Nixon, Vietnam vet John Kerry vs George W. Bush, Naval Academy grad and submarine officer Jimmy Carter vs Ronald Reagan, etc.)

Fundamentally -- if I may use that word -- what motivates conservative evangelicals is hostility to liberals (and to the media, which in the evangelical community is assumed to be pretty much the same thing). That hostility is a less powerful driver than it was a few years ago, largely because President Bush has become less popular even among the people most enthusiastic about him from the start. But it is still potent...
Posted by: Zathras on November 7, 2007 at 4:13 PM

Posted by: keith on November 7, 2007 at 6:40 PM | PERMALINK

Davis X. Machina wrote:

"Movement conservatism at this point is a spent force. It's pretty much running on pure bile. Who bids fair to piss off liberals the most? Who's the best hater? Giuliani. So he gets the nomination."

Indeed, the only actual content of the fake, phony, corporate-sponsored pseudo-ideology of so-called "movement conservatism" for at least the last 15 years has been hatred of "liberals".

That's the essence of the religion of conservative victimhood at the hands of "powerful liberal elites" that Rush Limbaugh et al have been preaching for years. And it is nothing but the classic authoritarian scapegoating ploy. Where the Nazis used "Jews", the ultra-rich neo-fascist corporate feudalists of present-day USA use "liberals" as the focal point of the hatred fed by the fear and resentment that their mouthpieces like Limbaugh instill in the followers of "movement conservatism".

In the 1980s, it was the Cult of Reagan Worship, with Reagan in the role of the Mighty Conservative Warrior who overpowered the "liberals" and "restored" America's glory and single-handedly defeated the Commies in toe-to-toe nukular combat.

In the 1990s, it was the Cult of Clinton Hatred. This worked very well because it was totally focused on hatred itself, rather than the worship of a hero who fights against the hated one. Many "movement conservatives" are nostalgic for the wonderful days of pure hatred when Clinton was in office. That's why they are so eager for Hillary Clinton to run for, or even be elected, President. They can then return to the orgiastic satisfaction of pure hate.

In the 2000s, it has been the Cult of Bush Worship -- with Bush in the role of Ronald Reagan. But the Cult of Bush Worship foundered, on Bush himself. Bush is no Reagan. And the Bush administration's blatant corruption and incompetence has proved so disastrous to the country in so many ways that even the Dittoheads can't really "worship" him.

So the neo-fascist corporate-feudalist ruling class looks for a new focal point for their Cult of Hatred of "Liberals". It may turn out to be Hillary Clinton. Otherwise, as DXM suggests, they will back whichever Republican seems most plausible as the Great Conservative Hero Who Will Fight The Powerful Liberal Elites.

It doesn't really matter to them. Either way they will continue to use hate and fear and resentment and ignorance to manipulate "movement conservatives" into supporting authoritarian government of, by and for the ultra-rich.

Posted by: SecularAnimist on November 7, 2007 at 6:53 PM | PERMALINK

Quaker in a Basement is right. This will dampen turnout. For social conservatives, gays offend the male identity, and abortion offends the female identity.

A competent Dem campaign will kill social con turnout with those cross-dressing pictures.

Posted by: Meerkat on November 7, 2007 at 6:58 PM | PERMALINK

Moral decay is being President and lying through your teeth, sending innocent Americans to kill innocent Iraqis; and, it is also an MSM that is nothing more than a propaganda arm of the lying sack of spit who happens to be President. It is also Americans too stupid to find the truth.

Posted by: Mazurka on November 7, 2007 at 7:26 PM | PERMALINK

Pat Robertson's endorsement of Rudy Giuliani is the first sign that the religious right may be beginning to circle the wagons in the 2008 GOP presidential race. Despite threats by evangelical leaders to bolt for a third party conservative candidate, it appears increasingly likely they will hold their noses and support the socially liberal Giuliani. After all, the desperate state of the Republican Party gives them little choice.

For the details, see:
"Just Win Baby: The Religious Right Rallies Around Rudy."

Posted by: Furious on November 7, 2007 at 7:32 PM | PERMALINK

Forgiveness is paramount in Christian doctrine. The pictures of Giuliani in drag and his former stance on abortion won't mean anything because "he came back to the flock." Remember the story of the prodigal son?

If you're counting on what Giuliani did or said in the past to negate what he's saying now, you're sadly mistaken.

Posted by: shnooky on November 7, 2007 at 7:37 PM | PERMALINK

Forgiveness is paramount in Christian doctrine. The pictures of Giuliani in drag and his former stance on abortion won't mean anything because "he came back to the flock." Remember the story of the prodigal son?

They will be sorely disappointed again. Hes a social liberal that even the liberals dont much care for and hes from Liberal Noo Yowk!

Posted by: Ya Know.... on November 7, 2007 at 7:43 PM | PERMALINK

I have a hard time believing Rudy can garner "strong support" from southern thumpers and rednecks. Reagan had a significant "made in Hollywood" image of being a real American cowboy with the attendant good qualities. Later we have Bush II who is from Texas and although he is in fact a "can't ride a horse cowboy" he is still positioned with a MAN in boots image.
But now we have candidate Rudy. We have dramatic images of him in drag. A man that enjoys wearing dresses. And didn't he, at one time, live with some gay friends?

I'm reminded of a tv commercial that ran in the south, if not other markets, selling a salsa. The premise was comparing the Texas made salsa to one made in New York City. With the punch line being a cowboy chorus repeating, with attitude - "New Yawk City?"

We'll see how well this plays out in the red states.

Posted by: joeis on November 7, 2007 at 7:55 PM | PERMALINK

Please...

Hillary for Lezident!

Posted by: Hilly on November 7, 2007 at 7:56 PM | PERMALINK

Das Grosser Reich von Rudy(tm)

Oh, that's good trollhattan!

Posted by: elmo on November 7, 2007 at 8:19 PM | PERMALINK

Does this represent a split between the Robertson and Dobson wings of fundy wingnutdom?

Posted by: rea on November 7, 2007 at 9:06 PM | PERMALINK

Take a road trip through Dixie. You will see plenty of Ron Paul signs and bumper stickers, but you will be hard pressed to find anyone singing Giuliani's praises. He is just a sleazy Yankee suit. He doesn't translate. People will vote for (R), but they will wish they could vote for someone else. Good thing is that red folks in the states that make a difference will not be motivated. There is probably some hope on the Republican side they will be motivated to vote against the Hilary monster.

Posted by: bellumregio on November 7, 2007 at 9:37 PM | PERMALINK

There is a reason Fascists have been so successful in exploiting and then destroying western democracies. It’s really very simple. Exploit the innate fear, hatred, clannishness, xenophobia, and resentment that is the darkest side of human nature, then use the authority and power to destroy the fundamental linchpins to democratic institutions… fair electoral process, civil liberties and the rule of law.

Lowrey and his ilk are starting to come out of the closet and provide the “intellectual” underpinnings justifying their Neo-Fascist views.

Posted by: Tom on November 7, 2007 at 9:54 PM | PERMALINK

No Keving. He promised to appoint wingers to the courts, esp the Supreme Court. That's the whole story.

Posted by: capitalistimperialistpig on November 7, 2007 at 10:04 PM | PERMALINK

SecularAnimist: "They can then return to the orgiastic satisfaction of pure hate."

Funny thing, though, about those who revel in "orgiastic satisfaction" -- after a few orgasms, they're tired and just want to go home.

Posted by: Donald from Hawaii on November 7, 2007 at 10:07 PM | PERMALINK

Vote Ron Paul 2008!
Oh, and just one more thing: Mr. Kevin Drum, meaningless is what you and corporate media have to say
Vote Ron Paul 2008

Posted by: Agata on November 7, 2007 at 10:48 PM | PERMALINK

bellumraggio is right. I live in East Tennessee. I see plenty of Fred stickers and lots of Ron Paul stickers and signs. But I see zero Rudy stickers. He's not particularly well-liked here. What's more, social conservatives might vote for Rudy in a general election, but they won't volunteer for him. And without fundies working the phone banks, the Rove-Mehlman GOTV machine falls apart.

Authoritarianism goes a long way toward explaining Rudy's appeal. But that's not the whole kit and kabuddle with the fundies. Many of them earnestly believe in the "culture of life." Right-wing Catholics have already vowed to treat him like they did Kerry. And many social conservatives will just stay home, even if Hillary is on the other side (because she's "just as bad").

Oh, and Robertson has very little clout anymore among Christian conservatives. Sure, the Kilpatrick piece makes the case for evangelicals looking beyond gays and abortion, but Rudy's obscene hawkism is not likely what they're looking for. Huckabee is their man - including his populist economic policy.

Posted by: Elrod on November 7, 2007 at 11:01 PM | PERMALINK

I've been saying they'd fall in line behind Giuliani for a couple of years now, based on my interactions with real, live wingers. Contrary to their portrayal as a principled, "values" oriented group, they have no real principles: hatred of liberals, power worship, and fear of different people aren't principles.


Their calculations with regards to Giuliani go like this: Will he bash liberals? Check. Will he bomb Muslims? Check. Will he be arrogant and authoritarian? Check. OK, he's above the threshold of what we will enthusiastically support.

Posted by: Martin Gale on November 7, 2007 at 11:06 PM | PERMALINK

The RonBots are beginning to remind me of Howard Stern fans.

Posted by: Disputo on November 7, 2007 at 11:10 PM | PERMALINK

Let me join the long roster of people on this thread pointing out that a) WTF are you talking about Kevin? because b) none of this has to do with substantive issues like abortion, gay rights or, more abstractly "moral decay" (whatever that is). What it does have everything to do with is authoritarian-follower behavior at its most patently obvious. Therefore c) many of us--and I include myself--have been predicting for months that the so-called evangelicals would toss their anti-abortion "principles" like an old shirt and line up behind whoever was the presumptive nominee, even if it was Rudy because that's what these people do.

There just is no earthly reason for a guy not drawing his salary from MSNBC or some other big media outlet to ponder deeply about the complexities of it all pretend it has something to do with "moral decay" or whatever. It has to do with Follow The Leader and absolutely nothing else, Kevin. I mean, seriously, don't be a dumbass.

Posted by: DrBB on November 7, 2007 at 11:40 PM | PERMALINK

Malkin eats baby seals!

http://2007.weblogawards.org/polls/best-blog-1.php

Posted by: eightnine2718281828mu5 on November 7, 2007 at 11:41 PM | PERMALINK

Rudy-Dudy:

America's Transvestite.

(gowns courtesy of THE COMPANY)

Posted by: John Crandell on November 8, 2007 at 12:07 AM | PERMALINK

I'm with Kevin and the others who say that the religious right will probably just stay home if Giuliani is the nominee, regardless of the endorsements he gets. Dobson has already said a Giuliani candidacy is a deal-breaker for him, and Robertson is really just not that influential any more -- even conservative evangelicals see him as a bit of a old-uncle-in-the-attic type.

Posted by: jonas on November 8, 2007 at 12:27 AM | PERMALINK

"On the other hand, he also says that a lot of them are turned off by the war, and Rudy is certainly the most aggressively pro-war candidate out there. So what will they do?"

Perhaps they will just go fuck themselves and call it marriage.

Posted by: Kenji on November 8, 2007 at 3:06 AM | PERMALINK

Those of us who fondly lament the passing of the two Harmony Theatres ("More than just a strip show...") know the bitter wine that is the table drink for the victims of Rudy's war on moral decay...

Putting it slightly differently, "I got y' moral decay riiight heere, wut's it tooo ya?"

Posted by: jollyroger on November 8, 2007 at 3:48 AM | PERMALINK

You have to remember - Robertson and his ilk aren't really Christians. It is simply their schtick for fleecing the rubes in the Bible Belt and the Deep South, who are too damn ignorant to see through their facade.

"By their actions, ye shall know them"

Posted by: The Conservative Deflator on November 8, 2007 at 5:50 AM | PERMALINK

Funny this should come up just now, I had an appointment yesterday at the moral dentist, and he told me I had a lot of moral decay going on, so we scheduled a moral root canal for next week. Until then, he advised me not to talk out of both sides of my mouth.

Posted by: jprichva on November 8, 2007 at 7:35 AM | PERMALINK

The RonBots are beginning to remind me of Howard Stern fans.

Disputo: You obviously should have quit while you were still ahead -- like, way back on the "Gamma Quadrant" thread. Unfortunately for you, that was actually BEFORE you first opened your mouth there.

Whatever you do, DON'T give up your day job -- assuming, of course, that this isn't your "day job".

Thought of changing your moniker to "DisBot-o"? ;-)
.

Posted by: Poilu on November 8, 2007 at 9:08 AM | PERMALINK

Outstanding, jprichva.

Posted by: shortstop on November 8, 2007 at 9:37 AM | PERMALINK

Susan got it right.
"It's less to do with "moral decay" and more to do with fear. The fundies will vote for anyone who promises to kick Muslim ass - including Benito Guiliani - no matter what his personal life is like (and Guiliani's stinks).
Talk about carrying the cross wrapped in the flag, you're looking at the first step toward christo-fascism. Keep a close eye on Blackwater. And never forget the conservatives founded the Republican Party on hate, fear, and envy. Reagan added greed and W added good old boy ignorance.

Posted by: Cliff on November 8, 2007 at 11:18 AM | PERMALINK

Cliff,

The Republican Party was not founded on hate, fear and envy - Do read your history of the Abolutionists - However, it was hi-jacked in the 60s by those who practice hate, fear and envy. This current repugnant group is not the Party of Lincoln - That party exists no more.

Posted by: bert on November 8, 2007 at 11:24 AM | PERMALINK

Bert,

Lewis Gould "Grand old Party" puts Lincoln's moral abolitionists at about 15% of the total GOP founders. He describes the 85% majority as opportunists. The only relevant factor is that conservatives still use hate, fear and envy to motivate their base. If this were not true then Osama Binladen would have been captured or killed by now and Rudy and the evilgenitals would not killer islam as a marketing tool.

Posted by: Cliff on November 8, 2007 at 11:58 AM | PERMALINK

Funny this should come up just now, I had an appointment yesterday at the moral dentist, and he told me I had a lot of moral decay going on, so we scheduled a moral root canal for next week. Until then, he advised me not to talk out of both sides of my mouth. Posted by: jprichva

Me too! Except it was my moral proctologist.

Posted by: JeffII on November 8, 2007 at 12:10 PM | PERMALINK

I'd bet only the most ignorant rubes follow Robertson even among Southern evangelicans, so his endorsement, while somewhat big, is not all that big. However every little bit helps for Rudy. I don't think he necessarily needs the enthusiastic backing of the religious right to win the general -- look at the polls vs. Hilary. He is neck in neck, keeps a lot of states in play, appeals to independents, etc. The fundies push the GOP over the top in some places, but we have to remember that they are no more than half the GOP voters. There are millions and millions of relatively secular Northerners, for example, who are not especially duped but vote Republican because they agree with a low taxes, no social services, bomb foreigners agenda.

ps. While it amounts to something similar, I wouldnt have said that it's all about moral decay, but rather all about SEX (fear of and hatred of woman and homosexuality) and EDUCATION (hatred of liberals) and RACE (hatred of non-whites) and GROUP IDENTITY (see first three). Unfortunately for Giuliani, he can't really be made to fit the mold on 3/4 -- so I would expect a lot of talk of hate of muslims and of law 'n' order (i.e. RACE) from his campaign.

Posted by: norbert on November 8, 2007 at 12:18 PM | PERMALINK

Jeez, reading this piece in the light of the recent commentaries here is like experiencing "deja vu all over again"! (It practically makes Kevin and WM look a part of the avant garde.):

The Media's Plan to Ambush Ron Paul
By Mike Whitney

... Despite the fact that Paul has a strong personal approval ratings and polls well against his competitors; the media has deliberately---and very successfully---kept him out of the public eye. That will be more difficult to do now that his campaign war-chest is packed with contributions and his base of support is expanding across the country.

We expect the media to ditch its failed strategy of simply ignoring Paul and take the more aggressive approach of attacking him outright. Now that Paul has established himself as a credible threat to the warmongering, autocratic corporate elite; he will have to be discredited through a coordinated media-blitz which will target his voting record, his character, and any other trivial foible which may incite public scorn.

He's got a bull's-eye on his back.

We've seen it all before, haven't we? The politics of personal destruction organized and directed from the penthouse suites of the media's corporate offices? ...
.

Posted by: Poilu on November 8, 2007 at 1:01 PM | PERMALINK

*

Posted by: mhr on November 8, 2007 at 1:17 PM | PERMALINK


Impeach Nixon

Posted by: Billiam on November 8, 2007 at 2:24 PM | PERMALINK
Any question about what party Christian minister Jesse Jackson and Christian minister Al Sharpton will support.... meathead republican at 1:17 PM
Another silly Red Herring from meathead republican. Are you afraid to talk about your heroes?

...* During a September 13, 2001, appearance on The 700 Club, Falwell reportedly said of the 9-11 attacks: "I really believe that the pagans, and the abortionists, and the feminists, and the gays and the lesbians who are actively trying to make that an alternative lifestyle, the A.C.L.U., People for the American Way, all of them who have tried to secularize America, I point the finger in their face and say, 'You helped this happen.' '' Robertson, as reported by The New York Times, replied: ''Well, I totally concur, and the problem is we have adopted that agenda at the highest levels of our government.'' Robertson later called Falwell's comments "[t]otally inappropriate." ...

Posted by: Mike on November 8, 2007 at 4:48 PM | PERMALINK

If anyone reading or coming across this Web page cares, the gay porn star who is the nephew of Jerry Falwell goes by the name "Jackson Price." There is a benign (i.e., just has a picture of him above the waist) Unzipped magazine interview with him here: http://www.unzip4sex.biz/features/0104/U0104_cover_jackson.asp

I don't know when the interview dates to, but it would be earlier in the 2000s.

Posted by: Anon on November 11, 2007 at 11:48 PM | PERMALINK

Blogs are so informative where we get lots of information on any topic. Nice job keep it up!!

Posted by: dissertation on August 18, 2009 at 9:20 AM | PERMALINK
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